Our emergency medical helicopter service, Mercy One, is one of the premier air ambulance services in Iowa. These helicopters are the fastest in the state with a cruising speed of 180 mph. With helicopters based in Des Moines and Knoxville, Mercy One can provide rapid transport to a large portion of the state, bringing expert care to critically ill and injured.
The Mercy One team consists of registered nurses and critical care paramedics experienced in trauma, cardiac, and critical care.
A specialized pediatric transport team was established in 2014 for ground and air transport. We also have a specialized neonatal transport team available for ground and air transport.
The Mercy One pilots are trained to fly in less-than-ideal conditions and use night vision goggles to navigate in the darkness. Mercy One's Bell 429 helicopters are the only Iowa air ambulance approved by the FAA for use of Wide Area Augmentation System, or WAAS. This allows the helicopter to fly when the cloud ceiling is 500 feet and visibility is 3/4 mile. Mercy has worked with four other sites to allow the helicopter to land using WAAS. Those sites include: Clarke County Hospital in Osceola, Monroe County Hospital in Albia, Mercy Medical Center in Centerville, and a special landing zone in Stuart. Utilizing the approaches can save valuable time reaching the patient and then allowing a safe flight directly back to Mercy Medical Center.